Sunsets v Erratics Cricket Club Erratics on Fri 25 May 2012 at 6.00 pm
Erratics Cricket Club Won by 36 runs

Match report Match Report by Martin Wright:

A rare sunny evening amid the May monsoon saw Erratics take on Sunsets at Coaver.

Captain Kirby won/lost the toss and unhesitatingly chose to bat / broke the grim news that we had, like reluctant stallions put to the stud, been inserted.

(Your correspondent, after a year’s absence from the fray, was too preoccupied trying to remember which way round pads went to note down this detail.)

Showing touching faith in his powers of recall, Kirby opted to open with him Said Correspondent. So, selecting “I may be a bit rusty, Skip” from the Approved List of Self Deprecating Remarks Befitting the Ageing Cricketer, he walked to the middle with Brunt.

On hearing that he was writing the report, Umpire Hitchcock offered to save him the trouble.

“I know what’s going to happen.”

“You do?”

“Of course. Erratics will score 117-2, and will restrict the opposition to 93-9.”

A Calvinist in our midst!

“And what will I get?”

“Oh, you’ll get 25 and be retired.”

Fortified with this knowledge, your correspondent prodded and poked ineffectually for the opening few overs, while Brunt at the other end looked more like a batsman, but found the bowling tricky to put away. Together we limped along at three an over. Then Brunt leathered one with murderous intent, only to see it slap infuriatingly straight into the hands of cover.

This brought Harrison to the crease, and the tempo of the game picked up smartly. He drove his first ball crisply for a single, with a genteel confidence which suggested he could have struck it to the boundary, but didn’t want to seem brusque. Then, dispensing with formalities, he creamed the next one to the rope.

At the other end, meanwhile, your correspondent was discovering that he was not so much “a bit rusty” as oxidised almost beyond recognition. Getting the ball past the field proved beyond him. Fortunately that turned out not to be strictly necessary. With the fielders hanging back, he resorted to the one bit of batsmanship that he clearly remembered: running up and down a lot. With Harrison a savvy accomplice, the scoring rate picked up and the innings took on a pattern. Wright dabs a single, Harrison hammers a four. He concluded his brief sojourn with a mighty six and was duly retired on 28.

Enter Ferro, brisk and bustling. The cheeky ones and twos continued, mixed with the odd trademark Ferro four. He, too, soon reached 25, and marched off with a scowl, muttering that he “couldn’t get the ball off the square”. Only Ferro…

Your correspondent, meanwhile, deciding that his continued prolonged faff at the crease was Hardly in the Interests of the Team as a Whole, and that he might as well die trying, lashed wildly at a couple of straight ones, and to everyone’s surprise but particularly his own, saw them land safely beyond the rope at long on. Nothing so became his innings as the manner of his departing. He retired, scratchy but unbowed, on 28.

This made room for Phillips, who struck a mighty four, and had made a promising 11 before committing the cardinal sin of sending a mis-hit soaring into the sky, and failing to utter the failsafe cry of “Looking for two!” as it descended. Cook flourished briefly, and Kirby played one lovely lap behind square, and then just two overs remained.

Ferro furrowed his brow, performed small feats of calculus, and decreed that we needed “one big over” from the last two. By some subtle means (wifi? telepathy?) the message reached Rutherford, newly arrived at the crease. He obviously interpreted it literally, particularly the “one out of two” element, and proceeded to hit every other ball into the further reaches of next week, the remainder being played out as careful dots.

So a huge clean hit over long off into the buttercups was matched by an imperious blow into the daffodils at long on. The next over he launched a massive six into the cow parsley at midwicket, followed by another into some botanically imprecise grasses (fescue? bent?), finishing off with a final four. No running was required. So it was a flowery, if fundamentally lazy, knock, and it took Erratics to a chunky 140-8.

Sunsets responded with belligerent intent, Price hitting a fierce 27 with the aid of some slightly porous fielding. But Erratics soon tightened up, with some tidy spells from Rutherford and Cook, and a sharp Ferro maiden. Sunsets tried the same ‘dab and scamper’ technique applied earlier by Harrison and Your Correspondent, but our fielders were sharper – and they had the misfortune to pick out Cook and Ferro. Two run outs cut down two of their best remaining batsman, and the sun was setting on the Sunsets.

The scoring rate declined from slow to sclerotic, with remaining entertainment provided by the challenge of bowling blind into the sinking sun. (Which dictates the local Coaver rule that the match is played from one end to avoid excessive dazzle.) Kirby, squinting, sent up a couple of inadvertently high lobs, one of which the batsman, fearing death by moon ball, fended off left handed to the long leg boundary for four.

Your correspondent, lurking at deep gully, tried to prove that a year away had merely sharpened his reflexes by diving to stop a four. Unfortunately the effect was rather spoiled by the fact that he was a good five yards short of the ball as it bobbled gently past him to the rope. A few generous overs of leg spin from Cook and Ferro failed to re-ignite the game, and Sunsets slipped below the horizon on 114-9.

Over pasties and pints afterwards, Harrison – a student of Arabic - was pleased to discover Hitchcock had a similar academic background. Although in his case, of course, it was as professor of Hispano-Arabic Studies. A combination which, your correspondent felt unable to resist pointing out, could prove quite more-ish. (GROAN - Ed)

He was glad to have come through with body and pride more or less intact, although his thighs stiffened up to the extent that by Monday he was only able to put his shoes on by sitting on the floor and bracing himself against the wall.

At times like this he took comfort – as should we all – from the Arabic tattoo inscribed on Harrison’s wrist: “The pain of disappointment is greater than the pain of discipline.”


Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Batting
Player Name RunsMB4s6sSRCtStRo
3w 5b 1lb 
for 4 wickets
Martin Wright Retired Not Out  28 33 2 84.85
Al Brunt ct Perryman 2 6 33.33
J Russell Retired Not Out  28 15 2 2 186.67 1
Chris Ferro Retired Not Out  25 25 3 100
Mark Phillips ct Price 11 13 2 84.62
Matt Cook ct Bowen 9 5 2 180.0
Jonathan Kirby Not Out  10 9 1 111.11
Nigel Rutherford Retired Not Out  28 11 1 4 254.55 1
David Wright lbw Perryman 0 1 0
Penny Price  
Phil Ellis  

Sunsets Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
N Perryman4.0040220.0010.00
P Russell3.001400.004.67
E Bridge4.001300.003.25
R Jones2.002400.0012.00
C Price4.0024124.006.00
M Bowen3.0029129.009.67

Sunsets Batting
Player name RMB4s6sSR
2nb 7w 1b 1lb 
for 8 wickets
114 (20.0 overs)
E Bridge Run out  13
C Price Retired Not Out  27
N Perryman st M Cook 1
D Mason b D Wright 8
W Johns b N Rutherford 0
M Bowen ct J Kirby 16
R Watts b D Wright 1
R Jones b C Ferro 1
K Greaves b P Ellis 14
D Johns Not Out  10
P Russell Not Out  12

Erratics Cricket Club Erratics Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Phil Ellis4.0032132.008.00
Nigel Rutherford4.0125212.506.25
Matt Cook4.0019119.004.75
David Wright4.00723.501.75
Chris Ferro2.0110110.005.00
Jonathan Kirby2.0019119.009.50